“You need to burn in the fire of your truth.” – Jaclyn Cherie
As an ongoing project I will be interviewing up and coming indie authors. My first guest on board is a prolific blogger, non fiction writer and occult practitioner.
Jaclyn Cherie is the creatrix of The Nephilim Rising, a blog that has quickly amassed a huge following in its short lifespan. Since its launch in 2015 her Facebook page has hit 28K likes. Jaclyn has successfully expanded into other ventures, such as her jewellery design and apothecary brand.
Likes and followers are certainly not everything, but they do give an indication of audience reach. Jaclyn’s work has obviously tapped a collective nerve.
As we have all heard by now “The Goddess is Rising”, the divine feminine is returning to stake her claim after thousands of years of oppression. What often remains unsaid is that a goddess rises through shit and tears, with blood stained hands, righteous fury in her heart, and she’s not here to play nice. A goddess rises through ruthless self determination. And that’s where Jaclyn Cherie comes in. Amid the waves of goddess commentators, she is a raw, brave and original voice.
Firstly, she is a left hand path practitioner, a self proclaimed Luciferian witch and feminist, and let’s not underestimate that radical stance.
Secondly, the scope and purpose of her writing is diverse. She is not afraid of taboos, tackling topics like sexuality, BDSM, mental illness, patriarchy, female genital mutilation, psychic vampirism and the ethics of cursing.
She shares her own wisdom and experience on occult topics and aims to educate by sharing research. Her down to earth language, avoiding intellectual jargon, is what makes her blog so accessible and popular.
Jaclyn’s blog documents the beginnings and development of her own empowerment through magical practice. Her writing is emotional and passionate. Her enthusiasm for the material and the thirst for knowledge that drives her are obvious. With brutal honesty she shares her initiations with us, through times of doubt and pain, joy and realisation. This is what makes her work unique. Jaclyn shows us what ‘goddess rising’ actually means.
I had a chat with this dark goddess; about her journey thus far, her plans for the future and the upcoming release of her published work.
First up, tell us about your involvement in the book “LUCIFER – Light of the Aeon”, to be published at the end of August by Black Moon Publishing.
This will be my first published piece of work, and I cannot express how excited I am. To become a published author was one of my dreams when I started this journey, I just never thought it would happen. I never thought any of this would happen to be honest.
The book itself is a group effort put together by a collective simply known as Rebels; we aim to personalize Lucifer and Luciferianism. As a contributing writer I hope to add the fire and brimstone that I am known for while being vulnerable and honest by telling a story very dear to my heart. Lucifer is not just a deity, or a metaphor to me, He changed me. Similarly, Luciferianism is not just my Philosophy, it is my lifestyle.
I want the book to resonate with people, more importantly, I want it to create dialogue of a topic so many avoid, and so many more don’t understand. I believe this book has potential to be a key for many.
What motivated you to begin The Nephilim Rising?
The story of NR, as I have come to call it, is actually comical in the most ironic way. I started the page as an act of rebellion; I was an Admin on another Facebook page, one that I still Admin for to this day, and I did not agree with the direction the other writers and contributors were going in.
I wanted, and desperately needed a place for my ideas, thoughts, madness, and to tell my story without the creative influence of anyone else. So, I started NR. The name came to me in a dream actually; only after the fact did I learn that it was a song by a mega popular metal band, Behemoth.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that NR was going to be a brand, a movement and a revolution. The idea in and of itself was so much bigger than just me, and I was at the mercy of this energy…this Muse.
I stick to one Philosophy when it comes to my page and that is, “stay true to you.”
The day to day workings of the page, and what I post and discuss are often a reflection of what I am going through personally, or something that is weighing on my mind.
Some weeks it will be dark and talking about summoning Daemons, the next few weeks it will be soft and Feminine; the page goes where my mind does, and my mind has no limits. You will see evidence of the ebb and flow of my Cancerian Soul in all my creative work.
NR will always be a true reflection of myself; quirky, macabre and provocative.
How do you think your writing has developed since you began the blog?
This blog has been paramount in helping my writing skills and people skills for that matter. It has opened the doors for so many opportunities that I would not have been afforded otherwise.
Basically, I owe everything I have now to a Facebook page, and blog. Surreal.
In the beginning I had this idea that because I was not college educated and didn’t always use proper grammar and such, it meant I wasn’t and couldn’t be a good writer; whatever that is. I think this is something that many writers, and artists in general struggle with but for me it was almost paralysing.
My writing is still the same style it always has been but admittedly is much more polished, and fine-tuned since I started this venture in December of 2014.
I actually met the Editor and fellow contributor of, LUCIFER: Light of the Aeon because someone showed her my blog and she then found me on Facebook; this is in fact how all of my publishing, and work opportunities have come to me. I have the deepest gratitude for NR and the Spirits who stand behind me as I create my empire.
The focus of your blog sometimes steers towards practical “how to” posts , such as protection or channelling techniques, often in response to requests from your readers. How do you feel about your role as a teacher and guide for others ?
The idea of being considered a teacher or guide terrifies me, and I think it always will. For a really, really long time I denied that I was a teacher altogether, I thought admitting so meant I was snobby, or egotistical. Who am I to think I am a teacher, you know? I learned that denying it hindered my personal growth. I believe I am a teacher because I am aware that I am always a student; I also think that I have become a guide for so many because my page is a beacon—I am a beacon.
I don’t want my readership to think like I do, or to have some cult like, doe eyed, numb minded following; I just want people to find the strength to think as an individual through my personal testimony of what it means to walk this path.
The practical posts are often by request, yes, but some are just because they are needed! So, so needed!
There also, generally speaking, seems to be a huge void of practical information that is written in a way everyone can understand and apply to everyday life.
In your posts you speak passionately about ‘community’, meaning in particular the occult community, with a concern for open dialogue and education on relevant issues. For example, some of your posts have addressed the difference between LHP and RHP, the question of free will and karma; with the intention of clarifying misunderstanding. Can you speak a bit about your interest in community and how you see your role within it as a spokesperson for the Craft?
I walk the Left Hand Path because I am an individual but as a Spiritualist I am well aware of the power of unity and the collective conscious, and unconscious.
I don’t believe in some kumbaya world but I think we damn sure can do better than we are now; both collectively and within our own community.
We seem to be so divided on issues, and this whole idea of the Spectrum and where we fall on it. Light has become synonymous with good, and dark with bad; I just want to break up some of these misconceptions so that people can really begin to dive into themselves, and the ancient knowledge that is, literally, at our fingertips.
As Witches and Humans, really, we need to be free to explore our world, our minds, and bodies without restriction.
I want, and urge people to break free of their comfort zones and live outside the proverbial box; only by stirring the pot, and instilling a sense, a need for, community can this be done.
I know that you have had to deal with more than your fair share of criticism and judgement as NR has expanded. How do you cope with and respond to criticism? How has it changed you and your work?
I am actually a very sensitive person and because NR is an extension of myself, any criticism given is almost always taken personally. It has gotten much, much better in the last few months, and I now know when people are just being trolls, and when there is actually truth behind their words.
I think an important part of being a public figure is being able to handle criticism, and being able to admit when you’re wrong; I think an equally important part of being a public figure is knowing when to tell them to fuck off.
I choose my battles now, and have no problem banning people who cause a problem; engaging is just not always worth it. I have found that my page, and myself are targeted more than other pages because I am a Woman. I have been challenged many times by people wanting to know if I knew what I was talking about in regards to the Occult. As if a Woman can’t be into the LHP and Dark Magick.
Now, the criticism given is motivation to do better and be better; nothing fuels success like the jealousy of another and a passion to remain true.
Many of your posts stretch beyond the sphere of the occult and address issues of social justice and politics. They are intricately related spheres I think, what are your thoughts on this?
I absolutely believe that mundane issues intertwine with Magickal issues on the personal and collective levels.
“It’s all relative” comes to mind…
I have always been interested in politics, and social issues; at first I didn’t want to take on or incorporate them into my blog but one day it just happened, and it resonated hard with people.
I strongly believe in the collective, that is no secret, and I think it is this belief along with the hope I hold for humanity that causes me to write about issues all across the board.
We need to not be afraid to discuss issues that make us uncomfortable and that is why I bring up topics that others don’t dare touch.
Social media has its advantages and drawbacks, it is certainly a demand and supply market place. When follower numbers grow so fast as is the case with NR, I imagine it can be quite an energy strain at times. How do you cope with the expectations placed on you?
I don’t cope, actually, and that is something I am working on.
The expectation to perform, if you will, is self-imposed but that doesn’t make it any less heavy, or stressful. I want to keep my readers entertained and interested but also preserve energy and time for myself.
I find that on most days I am running on empty and those are the days when I focus on remaining true to myself, and not getting caught up in the numbers and stress of it all.
It’s hard to not take it personally when I lose a couple of likes and know that it’s because of something I posted, or said. Conversely, it’s super intimidating when there is a massive spike in the numbers; it’s like stripping down to my Soul every day for strangers, both terrifying and thrilling.
I try to draw boundaries more, and have more moments of rest, but as I mentioned before this is so much bigger than just me, and I know there are Spirits, both Ancient and Ancestral that stand behind me, and it’s because of them that I push forward.
It’s because of the need for words such as mine that I put myself second. Oddly, it is through serving the greater cause that my personal mission is fulfilled; self-preservation through service, what a contradiction. How fitting.
I have been and am blessed beyond measure.
What are your future plans for The Nephilim Rising and as an author?
Other projects in the pipeline?
The plans for the future are as vast and unknown as the Universe itself. I can say that I plan on expanding the Shop and offering more ritual items, and home goods. I also am contributing to an upcoming Poetry book with the Luciferian flare. I think self-publishing a few practical books of my own might be in the future, too.
I don’t have a set course, or destination, I just know that if truth is my fuel I cannot lose.
Carpe Diem; Carpe Noctem; Carpe Omnia
Thank you so much for your time Jaclyn!
LUCIFER: Light of the Aeon, Written by Rebels, Edited by Diane Narraway, is due for release by Black Moon Publishing in late August 2016.